The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Unveils First-Ever Artist-Designed Banners
for Its Fifth Avenue Facade
In anticipation of its reopening on August 29, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will unveil tomorrow a timely new work of art on its Fifth Avenue facade—for the first time dedicating the spaces usually used for exhibition banners to display art. The work, Yoko Ono’s DREAM TOGETHER (2020), offers a powerful message of hope and unity to the world. Created by the artist in response to the global COVID-19 crisis, the two banners, measuring 24 x 26 feet, are composed of black letters on a white field, with the word “DREAM” placed south of the Museum’s main entrance and the word “TOGETHER” to the north.
Ono’s bold and inspiring work joins Wangechi Mutu’s installation of four bronze sculptures—The NewOnes, will free Us (2019), which sit in the niches of the exterior of the building—to create a meaningful presentation of contemporary art on the Museum’s Beaux-Arts facade.
Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO, commented, “As the Museum now looks to our reopening, this display is a signal of the life returning to New York City and The Met, both of which thrive on community and a sense of shared optimism for the strength of the human spirit and the power of art to bring comfort, inspire resilience, and help us understand our turbulent times.”
“Yoko Ono’s work for The Met and for New York is an urgent, poetic message of unity, positivity, and aspiration. As the world begins to slowly emerge from this unprecedented time of distress, uncertainty, and isolation, and as important calls to action are happening and being heard throughout the U.S., Yoko’s DREAM TOGETHER invites fellow New Yorkers to honor the challenges, the suffering, and the loss by inspiring hope and acknowledging connection,” said Max Hollein, Director of the Museum. “For 150 years, The Met has been a place where one can commune with our local and our global cultures. We hope that this moving and uplifting work sends a signal of resilience and unity to all.”
Yoko Ono commented, “When we dream together, we create a new reality. The world is suffering terribly, but we are together, even if it can be hard to see at times, and our only way through this crisis will be together. Each one of us has the power to change the world. Remember love. DREAM TOGETHER.”
The work will be featured on The Met’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #DREAMTOGETHERNYC.
Yoko Ono is an artist whose thought-provoking work challenges our understanding of art and the world around us. She has distinguished herself in a range of media and disciplines, from film and performance to music and writing. Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933. After studying philosophy in Japan, she moved to New York in 1953, and by the late 1950s had become part of the city’s vibrant avant-garde, working at the forefront of both Fluxus and conceptualism. In the early 1960s, she was performing regularly at both artist-run galleries and renowned concert halls, using a revolutionary combination of movement, sound, and voice. It was also at this time that she began a series of groundbreaking instruction pieces meant to be fulfilled in collaboration with viewers. In 1962, Ono returned to Tokyo for two years, and it was there that she realized and first presented Cut Piece and published Grapefruit, a collection of conceptual instruction pieces. Three years later, in 1969, Ono staged Bed-In and the War Is Over! (if you want it) with John Lennon. Ono’s commitment to peace continues to this day with her IMAGINE PEACE campaign. Over the course of her remarkable career, Ono has exhibited in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions across the globe, including major touring exhibitions, biennales, and triennales at such venues as the Japan Society in New York, the Schirn Kunsthalle, the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT), and, currently, the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Portugal, with Yoko Ono: The Learning Garden of Freedom. In 2009, she received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Biennale.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028